Name: Peppers

Description:
**There are so many delicious types of peppers! I am a spicy lover, so I am eager to grow them all.
 
**Green bell peppers are simply the bell peppers that are picked early. If you leave them on the plant longer, they turn red, turn sweet, and become even more nutritious.
 
**For more information on that focuses on the needs of the different varieties of peppers, check out this other post of mine on peppers.
 
Position:
**Give peppers a very sunny spot that they can occupy all season long and where peppers have not grown recently.
 
**Growing them in raised beds, which has warmer soil, will hasten the ripening.
 
**Peppers like a sandy, fertile loam soil. However, do not give this plant too much nitrogen because then the plant produces more leaves and less fruit. Some extra phosphorus is beneficial, and the plant will suffer if the soil is too low in calcium or magnesium. It prefers a soil with the pH of 6.5.
 
**The most important thing is to have warm temperatures and a steady supply of water.
 
Propagation:
**Seeds should be started indoors at least 8 weeks before the last average frost date. The seedlings do not like to be transplanted, so soil blocks or peat pots are idea (the containers that you plant right into the soil).
 
**Try to keep the soil at about 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit while you are germinating the seeds, then keep the plants at 75 degrees. Do not plant them outside until your garden is averaging 65 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. Even if the danger of frost is passed, wait until the soil has warmed up. Do NOT harden off the plants. Remove any flowers that appear until about a month after setting out, so that the plant will work on developing a good root system before giving you the fruits.
 
**Plant the plants about 15-18 inches apart (depending on the variety).
 
Maintenance:
**If the leaf color is too pale or the growth seems slow, give the plants a dash of liquid fish emulsion.
 
**Keep the soil evenly moist. After the ground has warmed up, you can lay down mulch to help with the moisture control.
 
**Prevent diseases by rotating crops and watering at ground level to keep the flowers/leaves dry.
 
Harvesting:
**Harvesting can be done at anytime. Once peppers mature, you should pick them or production will slow down. Cut carefully with a knife or clippers instead of yanking the pepper off of the plant because that damages the stems.
 
**Production starts to slow down in cold weather, even if there has not been a frost yet.
 
**You can dry peppers either in a dehydrator or simply by spreading them out in a warm spot on screens or cookie sheets. Cayenne and Paprika are excellent peppers for drying and grinding for your spice rack. To grind, simply dry the peppers and then spin them in a blender or a coffee grinder and store the powder in tight containers in a dark place.

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